Continuing to focus on the Divine Father-Child relationship, today in the penultimate part of our series we shall cast the spotlight on some more aspects concerning the said subject...


Prop...

Good and responsible children never take undue advantage of their earthly father's overflowing love. Likewise the best prop in our spiritual life would be of maintaining proper balance between "intimacy" and "intimidation" in our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Rather than being "intimidated" like a slave in the Master's presence, a Christian ought to come into the presence of the Heavenly Father joyously calling Him "Abba" (Aramaic equivalent of Daddy). By the same token, the reverential fear of the Lord never ought to take the backseat in our lives, lest we slip into a perilous zone fitting the phrase, "familiarity breeds contempt" (Heb. 10:31). The wonderful balance between "intimidation" and "intimacy" is best illustrated in Acts 9:31 which reads thus...

"...The believers learned how to walk in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit." (TLB)

Amazing is the related fact that it is the indwelling Holy Spirit who is the source behind both the comfort and reverential fear of the Lord ("And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on him--
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD."
Is. 11:2 NLT). Hallelujah!!!


Prototype...

Our earthly fathers crave the love of their offspring. Our Heavenly Father also craves for our love. In fact, He wants us to grow into the image of His Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, who has loved Him immeasurably right from Eternity. Christ's love for the Father was best manifested in the matter of his implicit obedience, even if it meant taking indescribable suffering in stride (See John 14:30-31). With the same Spirit of Christ indwelling us ("And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, who calls "Abba! Father!" Gal, 4:6 NET), it wouldn't be beyond us to replicate the Saviour's deeds, especially in the realm of loving obedience to our Heavenly Father (Heb 5:8), come what may!


Progression...

While many of the wise earthly fathers rear their children while keeping the long-term, permanent benefits of their children in perspective, some myopic ones pamper their children to the point that they "harm" them in the process. Our infinitely wise Heavenly Father, who always keeps our long-term benefits in view, brings us up suitably...Even if it means giving an occasional timely "rap on the knuckles", as it were, when His children are not doing what they ought to do: "​​​For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son he accepts.” (Heb. 12:6 NET. See also Heb. 12:5-11). Oh yes, He also doesn't shun from periodically exposing His children to some hardships, whereby they keep "growing" that Christ-like character in the process (see Romans 5:3-4/James 1:2-4). Hmmmm...no pain...no gain!

Prayer: Father, we submit ourselves to Thy leading at all times, for we know whatever You do in our lives is for our benefit. Grant us wisdom to be submissive always to Thy directives. In Jesus' Name, amen.


Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries

(To access the entire "ABBA, Father!" mini-series, please click here.)